I don't like dealing with Three Customer Care over the phone, due to the fact that the call centre has been outsourced to India, and I have difficulties understanding thick accents, which every person I have ever dealt with at Three Customer Care has had.
As a result I emailed Three with the details of my problem in the hope that I won't have to talk to an Indian.
The reply I got was basically: "Sorry, we don't do tech support via email, but if you upgrade the software on the phone it might help. Take it in to your Three shop and they can do it for you for free."
Not exactly the best of responses, but it was a start. So on Sunday I went into the local Three shop with the phone. I had already removed my sim card and the memory card in the phone (since they don't like sending phones away with anything in them, just in case (which incidentally doesn't do much for my confidence in their techies)). I talked to one of the guys behind the counter (who recognised me from when I took the phone in for repairs) and he said the "free" upgrade might cost anything up to $70.
It seems that the shop couldn't do the software upgrade itself (some can, some can't) so it would have to be sent away to one of the service centres. The service centre may decide to charge me for the service I was told was free. If the charge was $70 or less, they would do the upgrade and sent it back and I would have to pay to get my phone back. If the charge was more than $70 then they would ring with the quote and get my go ahead before doing the repair.
However, the guy I was dealing with realised that I could do the upgrade myself. All it involves is downloading the file from the SonyEricsson website, and running it, and it would do it for me.
Cool. So I didn't end up putting the phone in at the Three shop, and making use of the free service that might have cost $70, and instead went home. I finally remembered to do it today, so I grabbed the phone and the cable from home when I left this morning, and went to do it here. I connected the phone to the work machine and went through all the setup bits as my computer discovered the 10 or so different items that it has to deal with when I plugged in my phone. I then went to the SonyEricsson website and downloaded the "Sony Ericsson Update Service" which is what was required.
I installed it and started to follow it's instructions, and then ran into a small problem. The data cable that came with the phone wasn't good enough. To use the Update Service you needed to buy a better, more expensive cable. Fuck that!
I have had enough of Three and I have had enough of this phone. I am switching. There are only two things currently holding me back.
Firstly, it means I will have to talk with Three Customer Care again. Not looking forward to that. Now, I'm not trying to be insulting to Indians, but I have difficulty with anyone who doesn't speak "plain English". Anyone who speaks bad English, or English with a heavy accent, I have trouble understanding, and as a result I try an avoid them. However, I don't really need to talk to them yet.
The other problem is more pressing. What new phone? At this point in time I will almost certainly be switching back to Telstra (who I was with before Three), but I still need to work out what phone I want and on what plan. Currently on Three I am paying about $50 a month for up to $79 a month worth of content ($29 cap plus $6 for broadband content and $15 for the phone itself).
Telstra has just announced it's "NextG" network, which is supposedly even better (faster) than the 3G network. Currently only two phones are available on the NextG network, the Samsung A501 and the i-mate JASJAM. The i-mate certainly looks nifty, and I could get it for $80 a month all inclusive. With it being a phone and a PDA all in one, it would probably be a good investment. The Samsung isn't quite as nifty, but I can get it for $30 a month instead.
The other option would be to not go for the NextG network, and stick with the 3G network. In that case I could go for the Nokia N70 ($40 a month for $40 of included content), Nokia N80 ($60 a month for $60 of included content) or the Samsung z510 ($30 a month for $30 of included content). I'm not doing a Sony Ericsson phone again, and the current phone I am borrowing off paradigmshifty is a Motorola and I don't like the interface, so I'm not going for another one of them.
Of course, any of these phones I could get with a higher plan for better value (for instance, the $30 plan is 32c per 30 seconds, while the $80 plan is 23c per 30 seconds).
At the moment I am leaning towards the i-mate, simply because it is the phone and PDA in one, thereby saving me a hell of a lot of hassle. The inbuilt qwerty keyboard looks handy as well.
Not sure at the moment. Thoughts?